Slalom - the most technical challenge, having the shortest turns with distances ranging from 6 to 15 meters apart. The poles are placed closer together, thereby causing closer and quicker turns.
Giant slalom - the same as regular slalom, only with the poles placed further apart.
Super giant slalom - usually referred to as “Super G”, this is a “speed” alpine event; courses have few turns; poles are spaced widely apart.
Downhill - the fastest of the alpine events with racers reaching up to speeds of 130 km/h, therefore having the greatest risks. Unlike slalom events, the race is done in a single combined run... as in Super-G, courses have few turns; poles are spaced widely apart.
What the judges look for:
Alpine skiing, at first glance, seems rather simple. In slalom events, skiers have to navigate through and around the gates (poles) set along the hill as they race down. Both the time they make reaching the end and their navigating through the gates determine the winner. If a skier misses a gate, he/she is disqualified. Downhill skiing is just simply racing down the hill to make the best time, launching into the air thanks to various bumps placed along the course. How the skier handles and recovers from the bumps is a factor in the judges’ scoring.